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Mario's Interview of the Month with Vinnie Moore
Godin Multiac Steel
It’s not very often that an instrumental guitar album goes on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, garners major airplay on both AOR and Rock Radio across the country and inspires legions of fans to pick-up the guitar and really start practicing. That was the case with Mind’s Eye, Time Odyssey and Vinnie’s third release, Meltdown. Having recorded a few more albums in the mid and late 90’s as well as tour and record with Alice Cooper, these days Vinnie is busy building a new home studio and working on new material. He recently completed a soon to be released Rush Tribute album and last year released Defying Gravity on Shrapnel Records. If you haven’t heard Defying Gravity yet, I suggest you check it out as it proves that you don’t have to sacrifice feel and melody for speed. I was delighted to have had the chance to talk to Vinnie Moore recently for this month’s “Conversations”. Enjoy.

Mario: When I first heard Mind's Eye I completely re-evaluated the way I practice. (I'm sure a lot of guitarists did) How did you prepare for that release in terms of building up your chops to such a high level?

Vinnie Moore: I have always been totally obsessed with playing guitar. Before that CD came out I was practicing around 10 hours a day. I really didn't think about it much, I just simply love playing.

M: Last year you released Defying Gravity, which is a great album. There are more acoustic guitar passages and great overall melodies and themes. Musicians are generally their own toughest critics. Were you happy with the final result?

V: I'd have to say that I was pretty happy with the overall result. I always get crazy about the mixes of my record's and would have liked to remix a few of those tunes. You have to let go and call it finished at some point though. I do like the way I have included some of my acoustic and Latin influences along with the electric stuff.

M: I know you are building a new studio in your home. Has technology changed the way you write and/or arrange music?

V: Yes and no. My songs still start the way they always did. Me with a guitar in my hand and a portable cassette recorder. Once I get started on a new idea, it's impossible to get it out of my head. I'll wake up at 3 in the morning and I'm immediately hearing it again. And so I come up with a lot of ideas from just thinking about a tune. It's like it's fermenting in my mind - ha! Technology has definitely made the process easier and more convenient though. I record all of my guitar stuff at home now which is something I always dreamed of being able to do. I hated it in the past when you had to go in a studio and record 10 guitar solos in 8 hours due to budgetary restrictions. That's totally the wrong frame of mind to be in when you are creating. It is incredible that technology has evolved to the point where one can record stuff in a home studio that sounds as good as any pro studio. If you have the right "ears" of course. Having a system like Nuendo has also made arranging and editing so much easier. I can now do things in seconds that in the past would have taken hours.

M: Recently you recorded a song for a RUSH tribute album. I know you used a Multiac Steel for the recording. How did it turn out?

V: Actually I did rhythm guitars for the entire record. I also did a couple of solos and lots of melody lines here and there. I used the Multiac on the acoustic oriented song "Different Strings". It turned out great! It really sounded great and was easy to get a good tone. All I did was plug it in and fiddle with the guitars EQ settings for a minute, and then I was recording. I love it when a tool is a transparent part of the recording process. I can't stand twiddling knobs for an hour to get something to sound right. This makes me frustrated and then I don't feel like playing anymore. I love it when you plug in and the sound is just about there.

I also play the Multiac acoustically around the house. It sounds great that way too and I like the way it plays.

M: What's your signal path when recording with the Multiac?

V: I used the XLR output and went to my Daking Mic/Pre EQ and then to an ART VLA compressor. I only used the mic/pre section of the Daking, not the EQ. This is typical for me. I usually will only use the EQ section if it is needed. The VLA was used more for recording a hot level without overloading. From there, the signal went into a MOTU 2408 and into my computer where I recorded with Nuendo.

M: Have you ever thought of recording an acoustic album? I love the acoustic stuff on Defying Gravity.

V: Yes! I am not sure that I will do it but it is something I have considered a few times. Thanks for the kind words.

M: You've done many different things besides your solo releases, music for video games, commercials and of course toured with Alice Cooper. Would you ever consider joining a band again? Is that something that interests you?

V: Sure. I would like to join a band with about 4 Playboy bunnies who like to rehearse in the nude. That would rule - ha ha! I would consider joining a band - sure.

M: Who are you listening to these days?

V: Anything good I can get my hands on.

M: Are there any new bands that you dig?

V: I think Staind is a great band. That dude writes some good tunes.

M: What's next for Vinnie Moore? New album, tour?

V: I am gonna form the band I mentioned above with the Playboy girls. I will definitely get rich with this project. Then I'll hang at the mansion with Hugh Hefner, drink myself into oblivion, blow all of my money on stupid investments like expensive cars, then be broke in 6 months. All kidding aside, I will be doing another solo record soon.

M: Sounds like a plan. Thanks Vinnie.

*Mario Biferali is a Product Specialist at Godin Guitars.




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